Russian Orthodox Church announces commission to examine miracles
The Russian Orthodox Church announced on Thursday that it had set up a
commission of scientists to examine seeping icons and other apparent
"Our time is particularly rich in miracles, which are without doubt meant
to confirm Russians in their mass religious conversion" after years of
atheist Soviet rule, the commission's president Pavel Florensky told a
Set up by the Moscow Patriarchate, the commission brings together
scientists from various disciplines to examine physical miracles.
Florensky also referred to separate categories of "spiritual or medical
miracles", but gave no details of how these would be examined.
The commission has already examined some miracles, such as the apparent
seeping of a substance from two icons, one in Lokot, southwest Russia, and
another in Klin, north of Moscow.
Florensky, a rock scientist, said the commission had sent samples of the
substance to be analysed by "researchers from a prestigious institution".
He did not give details of the results of the analysis.
Religious worship was formally forbidden or strongly discouraged under
Soviet rule, but the Church in Russia has seen a dramatic revival since the
1991 breakup of the Soviet Union.
Earlier this week, tens of thousands of Russians queued for hours to
venerate a holy relic from Montenegro believed to be the right hand of
Saint John the Baptist, which was displayed at Moscow's Cathedral of Christ
© 2006 AFP